To consider the report of the Lead Emergency Planning Officer.
The Committee considered a report of the Lead Emergency Planning Officer on the preparation of a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PRFA). The Council was the Lead Local Flood authority (LLFA) under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and had a duty to prepare such an Assessment, which was a high level screening exercise in order to determine whether there was a significant local flood risk within the LLFA boundary based on historic and potential future flood risk data. The document had been approved by the Portfolio Holder and submitted to the Environment Agency; it was now submitted to the Scrutiny Committee for information and endorsement.
The Council had been given £124,700 by the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for the purpose of delivering the new Act and £176,500 for future years. The four Councils in Cheshire along with St Helens Council had formed a strategic alliance to undertake common and collaborative working wherever possible, including match funding a grant for £30,000 from the Environment Agency to employ Jacobs Engineering for the purpose of delivering a PFRA for each Council.
The Environment Agency had produced a National Flood Map that identified ten national Indicative Flood Risk areas where clusters of population greater than 30,000 people were located within an area of flood risk above prescribed national thresholds. There were none such areas in Cheshire East but there were some locally significant Flood Risk Areas for which a Local Flood Management Strategy was required. Currently, officers were collating historic data about flood risk areas with a view to a Surface Water Management Plan being available around the end of the year. Officers were aware of flood risks arising from rivers but were now looking at risks associated with surface water run off, ground water flooding and canals.
During the discussion Members of the Committee were advised that the format of the report was prescriptive and much of the content was to set the scene rather than give detail. The next stage was to develop a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and Surface Water Plan and both these documents would give more detail including causes of flooding and possible solutions. This would be reported to the Committee around September.
(a) the officers be thanked for the information;
(b) the comments of the Councillors made at the meeting be noted; and
(c) the Committee looks forward to a further report in September with a greater focus on risk and priorities in Cheshire East.